Every December since 2004, engineers have flown to the South Pole to drill 8,000-foot-deep holes in the ice. The team lowers cables, each strung with 60 disco-ball-size light sensors, into the holes and let them freeze over. So far they have completed 79 such holes, set in a grid half a mile on each side, and plan to drill the final seven this month. The result will be the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a cube of ice packed with 5,320 sensors looking for cosmic particles.
On July 14, electric vehicle owners will be able to charge up on a Big Mac while their electric vehicle charges in the parking lot.
A new McDonald's in Cary, North Carolina, will be the first of its kind, testing a pilot program with NovaCharge and Coulomb Technologies. The program may pave the way for electric charging stations in close proximity to where people drive and spend their leisure time.
Want to wow your neighbors this Saturday with some bright and cheery Fourth of July trvia? Tell them about the dangers of perchlorate, the molecule that helps fireworks burn longer. According to experts at DMD Systems who study explosive materials, the molecules are not only harmful to the environment, but to humans as well–-and repeated exposure poses health risks.
The good news is that scientists are developing new "green" fireworks--as in environmentally sound, not the color--that burn nitrogen-based fuels. They also use less smoke and contain fewer toxins.
Speech technology is advancing quickly; even smartphones offer apps that let you speak commands and perform voice-activated searches. Now, a new app for iPhone and Blackberry can convert spoken Arabic into spoken English (and vice versa).
At ten feet long, the Cygnet is two feet shorter than the Mini Cooper, and decked out in Aston Martin luxury. Based on the Toyota iQ, but with a few extra features including an upgraded interior and external detailing meant to match the luxury design of Aston Martin's significantly more expensive roadsters, the Cygnet -- which is currently a limited concept car that might debut next year -- seats three comfortably, or a fourth passenger can squeeze in behind the driver for a somewhat tighter ride.
Researchers at Yale University have built the first-ever quantum processor using solid state components, and have run basic algorithms to prove how it works. Previous efforts have simulated a quantum processor without using electronic components.
In their tests, physicists Leonardo DiCarlo and professor Robert Schoelkopf demonstrated the perfect example of how quantum computing beats out traditional processing techniques.
For those in a wheelchair with limited mobility, Toyota's new brainwave technology is a marvel. The rider of the wheelchair wears a cap that sends signals via a brain-scan electroencephalograph (BSE) to a computer that analyzes the input to steer the chair in real time, as seen here in a video.
Though it may not be much comfort as you use it on the usual round of chores, inside the new Dyson DC31 vacuum cleaner is a motor that's ten times faster than a jet engine, and much quieter. At 104,000 rpm, the DC31's digital switched reluctance motor actually spins faster than any motor on earth.
Even though a jellyfish is 90 percent water, it moves at about 40 mph. Jellyfish use their bell -- the top portion, above the tentacles -- to create a jet that propels them through water. Now, scientists at the Chonnam National University in the Republic of Korea have built a robot that mimics the movement. The robot, using an electro-active polymer artificial muscle, retracts and expands its skirt, exerting a minimal voltage and propelling the jellybot faster than you can swim.